Fails of the Urban Explorer: Ridge Lea Hospital

"What's that bloody security car doing there?", I motioned to @bingbabe with some distaste.

We had been visiting the English Lake District, a national park but on the premise that heading back home, we would divert to Ridge Lea Hospital, one of the few remaining former lunatic asylums left in the United Kingdom.

It seemed a good deal to me, a lovely day out walking and then seeing some grisly sights of decay in exchange.


To be honest an old hospital is not exactly beginners exploring material. They are generally cold, eerie, and full of incessant creaking noises that put the willies up you.

We continued past security thinking this was a lost cause, entered a car park to turn around, and drove close to the entrance to find the car miraculously gone.


Was it just an hourly check-in? I didn't wait to think, grabbed the lighting equipment, and ushered my wife to follow me into derelict hell.

For years Ridge Lea Hospital had been secured and maintained actively, but some recent reports had shown things had lapsed. Now was the time for action but were we too late?

'that security van should not exist according to my intelligence..., and yet it did'…

Castlegate Security Services’. This was going to be no walk-in, the front looked quite secure.


While getting inside the grounds was not difficult we had a little climbing to contend with, due to me not being vigilant enough.

@bingbabe was taking this in her stride and secretly I think she likes the rush just as much as me.


Walking down what was the main entrance I spotted four tall skinny blokes coming toward me. Quickly I motioned to @bingbabe toward the trees as she had not seen them.

It was too late.., but something unexpected happened. They quickly sped off in a different direction and vanished into the woodland. I wanted to shout and ask if they had managed to get inside.


Had they thought WE were security and coming to bust them? It would seem so. Undaunted we continued toward the looming hospital that looked more monstrous with every step.


Herras fencing is designed to be anti-climb but is anything but that. If there's nobody about I don't have any qualms climbing under or over it, but not with @bingbabe in tow.


We would need to find another way.



After walking around the entire perimeter and not seeing a single-window entry point I was feeling deflated.

Ridge Lea Hospital is a good 50-mile journey and there are no other derps in the region whatsoever. It was going to be today or never.


We found the break we were looking for and got inside the fencing perimeter.

I noticed some smoke coming from a part of the building and wondered if the skinny blokes were a quartet of arsonists. They had set fire to an old bin that was smouldering; it would not spread to the hospital.


I swear some of these windows had been freshly boarded up, meaning the local council must have forked out some funds to pay them. What a bummer.


…’there were more dangerous access points into Ridge Lea, but I couldn’t try them with my present company’…

With a heavy heart, we left in the same direction as the would-be arsonists finding a much easier route out.


Unless I hear of some very fresh intelligence, I doubt I will ever come back to this hospital.


Getting inside would likely have freaked @bingbabe out anyway. She has a lot more spiritual awareness than my almost none.

I have since heard a quartet of fifty-year-old explorers recently got busted while walking around the grounds. Several police cars and a riot van arrived to quell the walkers, warned them that civil cases could be raised against them before reluctantly letting them go free.


It is comforting to know that my council tax is being well utilised and the police are doing such a wonderful job.


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That was a bit heavy of the police for those other people after your attempt wasn't it? Maybe there is something going on there!

and ushered my wife to follow me into derelict hell

Lol, if only she knew what she had signed up to when the ring went on the finger!

Hehe, that was before my obsession with old rotting places! She has climbed through windows before, even sketchy ones. I know she gets the buzz just like me.

A buzz is a buzz and can never be denied!

That smoke may have been a nice steak being cooked by a few squatters. Should have tried the front door.. the most obvious is sometimes the right choice! lol. Just messing. Would have been cool in there I bet, but not worth getting hurt. But then again it is a hospital. 😆

I found the smoking bin quite fast. People have this habit of setting them alight over here, and not just in places like these.

People are wacky. They always have to try and ruin the ruins. Just leave it as found so others like yourself can enjoy it, take photos, and share with those like us. Doesn't sound so hard. Trouble makers I tell ya! lol

What is with idiots lighting things on fire?

The UK is full of arsonists. They are always burning things here, I blame it on the Vikings.

There was that library firebug last year, and at least some of the forest fires these last couple years in the western US have been attributed to arson. Dumpster fires don't random structural fires don't seem to be a thing here, though. Maybe I should ask the local firefighters if that's something they deal with at all.

Epic fail 😉

Sure does look spooky...

one of the few remaining former lunatic asylums left in the United Kingdom.

maybe I'm looking at my future destiny as my friends always said I was a bit cracked in the head 😂

The security seems quite tight, or is that pretty standard? I guess it's an urbex Wonderland inside.

The grounds were easy enough to get into. Inside.., its like most hospitals, peeling wallpaper, green slime on the walls.., its big so I would have to search for those great scenes.

You should try Mossley Manor, right next door to you.. and still accessible. Watch out for the careful placed dogshit designed especially for explorers next to the wall.

I'd love to do that type of stuff m8 but I have nerve damage and pain in my left leg from a disc injury. Generally I'm not physically caable of jumping fences anymore.

Just have to live vicariously through your posts :)

I bet that would be good inside!
Things are definitely getting harder to get into these days

If it was closer I would try again, it's not like I can make a day of things. That area has nothing else besides the hospital.

Ridge Lea Hospital failed! I am so disappointed for the trip made and for not getting to peek into another creepy insane asylum. :)) Sorry. They used to give me the Heebie Jeebies. In school, we rotated to one of the scarier loony bins in the area and it would raise the hair on my arms going through the doors.

I was looking forward to going in with you, Haha! I didn't realize that @bingbabe was in 100% with you! Bravo! You pulled her to the other side. I had no idea you two kids were teammates too. :)

Just as well she didn't go inside there. Has she been in one? Some of them are freaking scary without being abandoned. Imagine that. Sorry to hear about your compadres being busted for walking around. They are really coming down hard on your urbex people when the ones they need to bust are the vagrants. Pfft.

I hope this isn't the beginning of the end. I am really enjoying myself! :(

Locations are being boarded-up, renovated or worse.. demolished all the time. I am 4 months behind or so on these tales and several I have yet to post are now bricks.

@bingbabe has done a few with me, but she's not that keen. She runs marathons and is more into running that climbing through windows edged with glass.

Wow, that looks like it would have been a really awesome explore. I agree, I don't think your wife would have been comfortable at all in there just based on what you have shared in the past. I don't know as though I would have been able to do it myself.

I don't know as though I would have been able to do it myself.

You would with company! Alone.. that's for the hardcode lot like @grindle.

Alone at night would be even more hardcore!

Such a pity that the local government is paying attention to this one, it would've been a great exploration to just go inside (yeah, look at me telling you to trespass) and show us the inside of this :D

Just about everyone I know got in..., talk about annoying! It's far too far to travel up there again for a 'might-be'. The explores are starting to dry up. It was better when COVID was about in that respect. A lot of renovations happening now.

Do you like posting your Urbex content and photography for FREE on Facebook and YouTube?

Many people get rewards on YouTube through partnership (Google AdSense). I also used to get a little with my videos in the past, before Google changed the partnership requirements. I heard that they changed again in the recent past, but I have not checked (so far) whether I am eligible again for the partnership or not.

You need a massive following to get anything from those centralised platforms. I know several who use them and get nothing. I don't tell them about HIVE as he complexity is too much for them.

I have not had (and I still do not have) a massive following on YouTube, nor anywhere else. What you need on YouTube is viewers, who do not block advertisements. Google Adsense pays based on the advertisements views/clicks from your viewers. This is the hard part, because nowadays most people use some kind of adblocker. And I absolutely understand this. Many videos are full of advertisements.

I respect your dedication even getting that far! It sounds like this one was not meant to be. Looks way better fortified than almost anything you've posted about.

A case of too late. The week before, there were windows open. Annoying.. but that's how it is.

I have visions of you leaving the magistrates court, arm across your face screaming "NO PICTURES! NO COMMENT!"

I heard about one copper reciting the 1824 Vagrancy Act to one explorer. Give me a fucking break!
They know they can't do shit and it pisses some of them off. They are not all like that.

Round our way, they don't like to get out of their nice warm cars.

Interesting that it is so heavily guarded and boarded up so well..

So I wonder what they were really doing in that hospital...actually I don't really wonder...I'm sure down in the fungeons..ooops I mean basements... it was as sinister as I think.

Beautiful building though, such a shame you couldn't get in!

To be honest an old hospital is not exactly beginners exploring material.

Who goes exploring an old lunatic hospital?
And Thanks for not trying out those stunts in your mind with her..

Or should I rather thank her for being the calm you really needed at that time with her presence.

Great piece and pictures..made an hospital look horrific of a sort.

Who goes exploring an old lunatic hospital?

The photography one can get can be amazing, they are very popular, or were until most got demolished.

Now I understand.

Your post does have a lot of cool shots too.

I hate OSB, it's alot harder to get through than fencing or normal plywood. Kimmy and bolt cutters, shame it Looks like an awesome place too.

Maybe some enterprising soul will free up an entrance 😁

Thanks for sharing

Oh I would never damage anything, or break in. That's against the 'code'. I am quite happy to make use of holes made by others though.

I might need a bit more research into the 'code'... Haven't actually opened up any doors lately. Might have squeezed through the cracks. But we can always hope someone else just wants to some loot.

Personally it's about seeing what's left over in these old places. I've yet to find a use for cobwebs and old newspapers. And when there is something better I want to leave it where I found it.

After all, what's the fun in leaving a barren space for others when it was full for you?

Sorry I've hit the wine and said too much.

Still an awesome place tho.

Bummer. That would have been an awesome derp to explore I bet.

It is comforting to know that my council tax is being well utilised and the police are doing such a wonderful job.



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Hospitals and Cinema's..., the curse remains. I have barely any on my explores roster.

Security is very paramount to any society. I urge the police to keep doing great job. This is interesting and fascinating.

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Great story. I have often had an obsession with abandoned buildings. I grew up near Detroit which, in the 80's and 90's was just littered with the rotting hulks of old factories, warehouses and derelict neighborhoods. There is a strange beauty to old buildings.


Herras fencing is designed to be anti-climb but is anything but that.

LOL, how tall is that fence? It really contradicts its purpose 🤣 English isn't my first language, and after reading this a few times, I finally get the sarcasm HAHA.

It is comforting to know that my council tax is being well utilised and the police are doing such a wonderful job.

This is sarcasm, right? Please tell me it is, coz this cracks me up, lmao 😭 Thank you for a good read!

I think the "adventure" you describe in your photos is spectacular. Too bad you can't go inside because that would make the post more interesting, to see how is that mansion inside, the details of the construction and if it still has objects of historical value. Good post. :)

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